April 19, 2017

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Rubio's longest serving staff adviser leaves for TechNet

By
Marc Caputo
Politico

(This article originally appeared on Politico on April 18)

Sen. Marco Rubio’s longest-serving paid adviser, Alex Burgos, is leaving the Republican’s Capitol Hill office to lobby and plot strategy for the technology industry.

Burgos will officially begin work at TechNet — which bills itself as the “national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives” — on April 25 as its vice president of federal policy, government relations, and communications.

As Rubio’s deputy chief of staff and communications director, Burgos spent eight years by his side under the glare of the national spotlight as a media handler and go-to adviser who became well-versed in the nitty gritty of complicated tax and technology policy — as well as an issue that particularly vexed the senator, immigration. TechNet is keenly interested in the debate over H1-B visas. It also wants Congress to lower the corporate tax rate.

“Alex played a key role in helping me win my supposedly un-winnable 2010 U.S. Senate campaign and has been a fixture in my organization ever since,” Rubio said in a written statement to POLITICO. “For the past eight years, Alex has been a loyal and trusted advisor who brought an infectious passion to our work in tackling tough problems, developing solutions and communicating with the public, allies and stakeholders.”

On tech issues, Burgos helped Rubio work on the AGREE Act in 2011 with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and AOL founder Steve Case; on the Rubio-Coons-Moran-Warner bill in 2012 called the Startup Act 2.0; Rubio’s 2014 economic growth agenda policy speech at Google's DC headquarters which focused heavily on innovation; the office’s 2014 regulatory reform event at Uber's DC headquarters; its 2015 bipartisan bill with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to expand unlicensed spectrum use; and Rubio’s presidential campaign speech on the sharing economy.

In a written statement, Burgos said that “TechNet’s members include breakthrough startups and the most storied, life-changing technology companies on the planet, and I am excited to join the TechNet team to help keep America’s innovation economy growing and creating more good-paying jobs,”

Rubio called Burgos a “leader, problem solver, communicator, and advocate for the people we represent” and said he would be on “the front lines of the policy battles that will shape the future of America's innovation economy.”

A Miami native, Burgos is the son of a Cuban refugee and Colombian father. He devours news stories in Spanish and English, and is always quick to push back on what the Senate office saw as unfair coverage, inaccurate information or simply bad grammar.

Burgos’ exit follows that of another longtime Rubio adviser, former chief of staff Alberto Martinez. Their departures from the office were delayed somewhat once Rubio decided to run for reelection — and win — instead of retiring after his failed 2016 presidential bid.

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